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Greece calls for return of disputed Parthenon Marbles from Britain

Last Monday, the Greek Prime Minister renewed calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles to Athens, saying that with the completion of the New Acropolis Museum, Greece will have fulfilled all requirements for the sculptures to be returned.

Earthtimes [1]

Greece calls for return of disputed Parthenon Marbles from Britain
Posted : Mon, 17 Dec 2007 12:00:01 GMT
Author : DPA

Athens – Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis renewed Greek calls Monday for the return of the Parthenon or Elgin Marbles to Athens during his tour of the new Acropolis Museum. “The new Acropolis Mueum above all reminds us of the duty to reunify the Parthenon Museum,” said Karamanlis as he toured the new museum during a massive operation to transfer the antiquities from the old museum on the Acropolis to the new venue as it neared completion.

The prime minister said Greece now fulfilled all the conditions for return of the Marbles.

“The construction and operation of the new Acropolis Museum fulfils the final argument of those who refuse the fulfilment of this just demand,” he added, referring to the British Museum.

“The conditions are now ripe … for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to the place where they belong.”

The 5th century B.C. friezes or Parthenon Marbles were removed from atop the Acropolis by Britain’s Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Lord Elgin, more than 200 years ago.

The 2,500-year-old sculptures, depicting religious and mythological scenes, have been held by the British Museum since 1816 after they were sold by Elgin, despite ongoing Gerek efforts to have them repatriated.

The British Museum insists that the transaction was legal as Lord Elgin obtained permission to remove them from Greece’s then rulers, the Ottoman Empire.

Britain has argued that pollution in Athens, acid rain and a proper museum was a reason not to return them but the new state-of the art Acropolis Museum, with an entire wing set aside for the Elgin treasures, is due to be completed soon.